Technology has changed life as we know it. A decade ago, we couldn’t even imagine half the things we do today! Everything is now available at our fingertips. A stable internet connection and a gadget connects you with the entire world.
However, it is not all rainbows and roses. The technological development comes with its fair share of downsides.
Today, people depend on smartphones for the simplest of tasks. Plus, with the rise of social media, we’re further cut off from reality.
When was the last time you enjoyed a cup of coffee without posting it on Instagram? Technology has brought the world closer but drifted people apart. Read on to know if technology really makes us anti-social.
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Technology and Convenience
There is no denying the fact that technology improves our lifestyle by leaps and bounds. Everything is available online. You can place orders, book tickets, work, and get things delivered to your doorstep.
Stepping out of your house seems redundant if you have enough apps and gadgets! And considering the current pandemic, this might be a blessing in disguise. Staying indoors is the new norm and technology is what keeps us sane and stable.
Technology and Education
From university students to working professionals, everyone is dependent on technology. We have work from home options, online courses, internships etc. for better career prospects.
The education industry has undergone a complete transformation. Students now have access to better resources and gadgets.
You don’t have to search for hours at your university for a book/journal. All the research material is now available online, properly catalogued, and accessible with a single click. You can also hire people to help with your assignment submissions.
You can get readymade project layouts, research material and resources online. Plus, once done, you can run it through a plagiarism checker to avoid any copied content. There are online platforms to help proofread the essay as well.
For, teachers, the technology helps with planning lectures and lessons. You can plan your class assessments, set up exam papers, and evaluate projects a lot quicker.
And after college, students can also look up part-time jobs, internships, or professional development courses online.
There are various reliable freelancing options as well for students who want to pursue both their studies and career together.
But this convenience comes at a cost. There are several studies that highlight how gadgets make us lazy, unproductive, and easily distracted. Too much of a good thing can turn toxic, and our relationship with technology proves that.
Technology and Business
Technology has had a huge impact on the way we conduct business. There was a time when the market was ruled by a few select companies and brands.
Today, thanks to the internet, the market has opened up. Anyone from any corner of the world can open a website.
Technology has also opened new business opportunities for people. It allows entrepreneurs greater insights into what the customers want. Research tools like SWOT analysis, gives you an in-depth idea about the micro factors that affect your brand. You can collect customer metrics from an SEO tools and analytics.
Business holdings now have detailed information about the lead generation, customer engagement and market competition. You have all the resources at your disposal to build and sustain a profitable e-commerce web store.
The good, the bad and the ugly
Thanks to technology, people can get real-time updates on what’s happening around the world. However, like all good things, even technology has a downside. Being glued to our screens all day raises many physical and psychological concerns.
So, is technology really making us anti-social? Well, everyone has different views on this. And it would be unfair to paint the debate as black or white. Every generation has a different take on this argument.
The millennials and GenY believe that technology is indispensable. The boomer generation blames phones/gadgets for all that is wrong with the world. Both these perspectives have their pros and cons.
“Look up from your phone!” “Talk to us” “Stop being a couch potato”- are some common complains by parents. According to the older generation, technology has made us lazier. We face the problem of plenty. Everything is now available online- and this overload of content can get overwhelming.
Everyone we know is on some social media network or other. It helps bring people across the world together, allowing users to express their opinions and posts. Everyone wants to present their best selves on social media.
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are both a blessing and a curse. For while, you can connect with people faster, it also makes you vulnerable to online threats. Data privacy and cybercrime are ever on the rise.
Search engines like Google also tracks your user activity, and personal information. Technology now infringes our most private spaces.
Everyone can see your posts and pictures on social media. Identity thefts, fake profiles, online trolling etc. are ever some major concerns for users.
Abusers, protected by the anonymity of the internet, hurl threats at people for their different opinions.
Social media also promotes harmful self and body image stereotypes. We often look up celebrities online and envy their lifestyle and luxuries. In fact, social media has become such a competitive space that it pushes us away from reality. We rend to create a virtual alternative to reality instead and prefer to live in it.
Technology and mental health
Technological developments have a huge impact on mental wellness. On the positive side, with technology, we can diagnose diseases, simplify business, and improve our lifestyle. On the downside, technology also makes us complacent, lethargic, and anti-social.
With technology, we get better outlets to express our opinion and connect with like-minded people. Anyone with an idea and an internet connection can now start a blog online. However, these platforms are vulnerable to hacking and other security concerns.
Website development platforms like WordPress have several safety measures to protect the content and identity of the users.
It all dumbs down to how you use/misuse it. Also, the entire conversation around technology also causes an economic and social divide in the population.
Technology, particularly social media, therefore, contributes to making us anti-social. However, it would be wrong to simply put the entire blame on technology. For, at the end of the day, it is us that misuse technology.
So, is technology all bad? Of course not. Technology, like most other things, is a tool that has both good and bad aspects. It would be unfair to paint a black and white picture for this debate.
Mary Jones is the co-founder and editor-in-chief at TopMyGrades, which focuses on career counselling for university students in the US, Canada, UK and Australia. Mary also provides help with assignments in the USA as an online service for University students to guide them in with a range of University courses and certifications. When free, she loves to read inspirational novels and biographies.
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